In my paper for my Intro to New Testament class, I raised the following:
Though prominently the disagreements between Paul and the so-called Jerusalem Pillars; what is noteworthy is that Paul seems to have, as well as earn, authority despite the fact that he did not know Jesus personally (and according to tradition, the Jerusalem Pillars did, though Paul does not explicitly suggest this). One has to wonder about the implications of this, whereby Paul has authority and continues to gain authority even after his death—particularly through these so-called gnostic communities—and yet none of the Jerusalem Pillars’ works survive (presuming they wrote something down in the first place).
This for me draws out an important issue. Just what happened to the Jerusalem Pillars? Did they die during the First Jewish War? Did they leave and go to Rome? Syria? Alexandria? And why is it that we have Paul and not the Pillar’s works (if any were written)? Paul must have received some correspondence, I would think, given that he went to Jerusalem on someone’s wishes. And I find it hard to believe that none of the Pillars were literate (given that they seemed to hold some “rabbinical” position in the church there).
Are there any theories out there? Any constructions that might be based in some grounding?